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[The following is in regards to the hapless Spanish ambassador to King Henry VII of England, and relates many of the problems in negotiating for the marriage of Catherine of Aragon. You can read part 1 here.]

By yielding gracefully now he had the power to do so, Fuensalida might have won an important point, but he could not forbear representing the whole transaction [regarding Catherine’s plate and silver which she brought with her to England] as a free act of generosity on Ferdinand’s part, reopening all the old arguments, and pressing Henry to accept at least part of the plate.


How, Henry asked next, about Ferdinand’s consent to the betrothal of Charles and Mary? That, said Fuensalida, might come later. Henry cried out furiously that he had been deceived about Joanna and would not be deceived again about his daughter. The strain of talking to Fuensalida was telling on his nerves. The ambassador, calm for once, said that the two negotiations were quite separate. One ought not to impede the other. Henry had been growing “more yellow than ever.”

”But they do,” he spat out, “you shall not have one without the other,” and flinging over his shoulder that he must consult his council, he stalked off.

The worst of the quarrel had not come. Fuensalida, very proud of his firmness, went to tell Catherine how he had sped, and on leaving her room met Henry.

”I thought you had gone,” the old man snapped. “Now come in with me. The Princess shall see how you handle her affairs.”

Henry began an account of his conversation with the ambassador. Before he had gone very far, Fuensalida interrupted, contradicting him. Henry jumped “like a singed cat.” He could not deal with such a man, he cried. He would marry Mary to Charles without Ferdinand’s consent. Thereupon Fuensalida began the tale of the crowns which such an act might lost the couple: Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sardinia, Sicily, Naples, Jerusalem –

”You honor your King with many crowns indeed,” Henry cut in, “but for years he hadn’t a hundred thousand to pay for his daughter’s dowry.”

”Señor,” said the ambassador, “the King, my lord, is equal in fame and glory and power to any prince in Christendom. He does not lock away his gold in chests [a stab at Henry, who was notoriously frugal with his wealth], but pays it to the brave soldiers whose head he had always been and will always will be victorious.”

At this taunt, Fuensalida records with satisfaction, the King was speechless for a moment, and then “grew so angry with me that it was marvelous to behold.”

Naturally it was some time before the two met again.


Mattingly, Garrett. “Part I: A Spanish Princess (1485-1509); Chapter 4, Section iii” Catherine of Aragon. New York: Quality Paperback , 1990. 106-7. Print.

Further Reading:

[Ferrando / Fernando II / Ferran (Ferdinand II of Aragon) / “Ferdinand the Catholic” / Ferdinand V of Castile / Ferdinand III of Naples[(

Harri Tudur / Henry VII of England

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

Mary Tudor, Queen of France

Joanna of Castile / Juana la Loca (Joanna the Mad)

Catalina de Aragón (Catherine of Aragon)

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